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13

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Jeroune Rhodes

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows. These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET JEROUNE RHODES (Duke University, Fuqua School of Business)

I was born and raised by my mom in Minden, Louisiana, a small town in northwest corner of the state. As an educator, my mom instilled upon me the importance of education and hard work at an early age. I excelled academically in high school and after graduation, I moved to Houston, Texas to attend Rice University and studied mechanical engineering. Growing up, I unintentionally broke almost everything I touched. I credit these misfortunes with igniting my curiosity with how things worked, which ultimately led me to pursue a degree in engineering.  After college, I took an engineering position with Shell Oil Company at the Motiva Port Arthur Refinery (PAR). In my role, I provided machinery technical support to my production facility and used my expertise to optimize maintenance spending, improve asset reliability, and eliminate failure mechanisms. After two years, I departed and took a similar position within The Dow Chemical Company. As a maintenance and reliability engineer at Dow, I had technical responsibility for all fixed and rotating equipment within two specialty chemical plants.  Outside of my professional career, I enjoy learning, traveling, and staying active physically and within the community. I grew up watching and playing competitive tennis and continue to play leisurely. I also play softball and use CrossFit for strength and conditioning training. As an active member of the community outreach committee in the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals group, I have participated in countless volunteer events that have positively impacted the area.

What made you consider business school?
As I continued to gain knowledge and experience in industry, I observed that my career options were becoming more and more confined within the technical realm. After five years as an engineer in the manufacturing sector, I realized that I did not want to pursue a purely technical career path. Business school was the perfect option for me because I knew that it would provide me with the tools, resources, and foundation to make a successful, fluid career switch.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I am most excited about meeting, learning from, and sharing experiences with my fellow classmates.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Barbara Jordan, Elon Musk, Bayard Rustin, Sheryl Sandberg, Barack Obama.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
Coming from Louisiana, I live to eat good food. Cajun food is by far my most favorite, followed by Tex-Mex.

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12

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Jenika Shannon

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows. These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET CHELSEA JONES (University of Rochester, Simon Business School)

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida – the youngest to two older brothers. I attended FAMU and obtained my B.S. in Chemical Engineering. I then moved down the alphabet to TAMU, where I earned my Master’s in Petroleum Engineering. Don’t let my degrees fool you, though. I am highly creative, and a major goof. I started playing the saxophone when I was 11, and have been deeply interested in all things music, since. It is my dream to record and release an EP in this lifetime. I also happen to be an avid karaoke singer (read: addict). Speaking of addictions, I could eat chicken wings for every meal for the remainder of my life. Museums, live music, and beautiful scenery make life worth living.  If I had to explain my entire existence through three actions, they would be: Experience. Learn. Create. I live by the words “do good, fear nothing.”

What made you consider business school?
I have a fiery passion for people. I am interested in why we do the things that we do, as humans, and why we make the decisions we make. Connecting with people and learning about what drives them brings me joy. As an engineer, I would not be in a position to make choices that would directly influence the consumer’s experience. As a businesswoman, I will be.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
For the first time in my life, I feel as if I am doing something that not only aligns with my abilities, but will also be fulfilling to me. I am excited to grow closer to my cohort, and build a foundation upon which I will change the world.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Believe it or not, my one and only role model in society is Chance the Rapper. He is an independent artist with the talent and wit of the most experienced musicians and lyricists. He believes in something, and nothing on this Earth will sway him from that.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I am genuinely interested when I ask how you are doing.

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07

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Fred Gehrig

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows. These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET FRED GEHRIG (Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management)

Project management professional specializing in healthcare and operations.  Attending the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt in the fall, where I will be specializing in Strategy and Marketing.

What made you consider business school?
I knew what trajectory I wanted to take with my career.  I felt that the current path I was on would not lead to that however. I think that business school will allow for that pivot.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
Learning about many different industries that I have yet to experience in my career.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Steve Jobs is someone that continues inspire me, posthumously.  His drive for continual change and innovation was unprecedented.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I love to dance.

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